The Differences Between Converged Infrastructure and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

JUNE 7TH, 2018

Think back to the birth of your IT management infrastructure. When did a true plan fall into place? Generally, components of infrastructure include computing, data storage, networking, and server virtualization. It’s likely all four of these were originally set up based on the needs of a particular workload. A certain method of storage would have been chosen for a specific number of files and other specifications. Unfortunately, these original infrastructures are difficult to manage. Since there is more than one vendor handling your components, it will likely cost you high premiums and can become overly complex. You'll also find that multi-tiered vendor systems will complicate data transfer to the cloud. Converged infrastructure (CI) and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) are the solutions to your foundational IT problems.

What is Converged Infrastructure?

At its core, CI is a simpler, more strategic, and cost-effective method of fulfilling your IT needs. In this method of infrastructure, server appliances are all delivered in one compact set of hardware. This means your IT department will only have to seek out a single vendor for end-to-end support. You’ll also save yourself from having to invest in large amounts of physical space for a variety of hardware — CI is a single box system.

What is Hyper-Converged Infrastructure?


HCI is similar to CI in that it amalgamates IT infrastructure components. But, with HCI, your infrastructure will be delivered from one vendor by means of software. This software will likely include a single dashboard where you can manage and deploy your entire IT framework.

What Are the Differences Between CI and HCI?

Though both CI and HCI solve multi-tiered IT infrastructure problems, they are very different. CI is hardware-based while HCI runs via software. CI contains different hardware components, meaning you can take it apart and stand-alone devices can be used as is. For example, the server can be removed and utilized on its own and you can isolate and use individual storage units independently. Because HCI uses software, all the components must be managed together. They’re generally less customizable and users relinquish some control over what they get from the initial installation. Yet, using software means you can start with a certain amount of storage and increase as needed at a relatively low cost. CI physical hardware must be purchased and installed when more space is required, which can wind up costing a lot. From a starting cost standpoint, HCI will be more expensive since you must buy software licences and the like. But opt for HCI if you’d prefer a higher initial cost but much lower maintenance fees in the future.


As a data storage service that offers cloud protection, StorageCraft has opted for the best in data technology. Contact us today to learn more about planning your IT infrastructure and how to incorporate the StorageCraft Recovery Solution.

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